Tag Archives: transition

Unbottled

I’m awash in lazy contentment like a kitty sprawled in a sunbeam. It’s been had a long week filled with accomplishments, lotsa physicality, and a whole lotta thinkin’ goin’ on.

Through it all, I’ve kept most of my stuff bottled up. Writing wasn’t on the landscape this week. Sometimes I put a lid on it all and let things simmer and meld for days on end, like an Italian slow-food-of-love cookin’ affair. Thought-stew. Stewing.

I’ve been organizing my home. Gruelling. 2 days, 48 flights of stairs, 14 Swiffer cloths, a roll of paper towel, a bunch of rags, 95 degrees, and a lot of elbow grease.

I’d actually written about what I expected of the experience, but got was so absorbed in my other work that I never edited or posted the piece.

This is how it began:

Big sigh. I’m on the verge of something I’ve wanted for a long time.

I’ll have the most space ever in all my storage areas. Nothing will be crowded anymore, anywhere.

I’ll have a cardio machine in a non-intrusive corner of my bedroom, my living room even more spacious for working out, and probably have the best floorplan I’ve ever had.

My bathtub works again and I haven’t seen a cockroach in two months. I even pad around barefoot sometimes.

I’m so fuckin’ thrilled I could cry.

Tomorrow starts the Great Ordering of the Steffiverse. Finally, chaos will be banished.

For someone who has a fear of clutter and a penchant for lapsing into mild-mannered agoraphobia, it’s been a hell of a few years on the home front.

My friends who’ve been by my side through The Decade From Hell can attest that my home has matched my life for much of that time. The more I’ve shed of worries, weights, and problems, the more my home has opened up and reflected my personality more than my drama.

And here I am, largely on the other side of that.

***

Basking in mostly order and slack today, I’m in the midst of defining what I want the future to be over the next year, as I figure out this massive application for a self-employment program I desperately want to take, deadline Thursday.

I’ve recently been putting the feelers out, talking to people, networking, all that. I’ve really been surprised in the last couple of days at just how many people have responded positively to requests from me to put in writing that they’d like to work with me one day soon, as required by my application.

Judging by the variety of people I’ve received letters from (and I only needed 2, have 10), it’ll be a really exciting 2011. If I do get accepted into one of the programs I want desperately to attend, I know it’ll throw doors open that only I can be responsible for closing.

I don’t have any doubt in what I’m capable of, I just question how well I’ll do at making that happen. It’s like writing — just because I can form an idea doesn’t mean I can translate it into words on a page, though I may try.

But in creating a new surroundings, I’m hoping to create a new mindset open to new possibilities and inviting of opportunity. It’s the proverbial “starting somewhere”.

***

Someone told me once that purging your belongings to create space is how you persuade the universe to gift you more. You know I’m not Frou-Frou / New-Agey Girl, but I do believe we have more power to create our life than we’re often led to believe, and in a less mantra-ish kind of way than necessarily espoused by pop-guru thingies like Eat Pray Love.

Photo by Ihtatho.

The reason it’s so important to me to get my home under control when it’s in a state of chaos, which was most of the time, is because I really feel it reflects who I am at any point in time. I really do. When it’s in chaos, I know I am too, and that inner-chaos is reflected everywhere around me, visually reminding me that I am actively failing at, well, just about everything.

So, I’m getting there. Every time I organize, there’s less to sort through. I don’t feel I’m done. I can live with less. Over time, I want to explore Less. For me, less will become more.

***

I saw a line on Facebook today — that repository of deep and meaningful [said dryly] social fluff — where someone proclaimed something like, “Don’t worry about people from the past, there’s a reason they didn’t make it into the future.”

I suppose that’s true of who I once was. There’s a reason that version of me didn’t survive. There’s a reason this version of me is in flux.

Simply remembering “there’s a reason” can be infinitely valuable, after all.

Though, I must say, sometimes it’s good to remember not everything needs a reason.

***

Sometimes, you know, I sit back and think, “Hmm, I’m glad I’m a writer. Maybe now I can find some sense [or pattern or direction or reason] in all of this.” I sit down, I write, and, yeah, at the end I’m just as lost as I was when I began.

Like now. I still don’t really have a handle on where my life is going. How could I possibly? I’m hoping. Like when I tried playing horseshoes last week, I had no fucking idea how I’d get the shoe around the peg, but I aimed and I hoped.

Life’s just like that. You can’t know. You can’t be sure. You can’t be decisive. Instead, you just roll with the waves as they land on you, and hope you catch the right breaks when they do.

That’s where I am. I know what I control, I know what I don’t. What I do control, I’m trying to rock. When it all comes down, I want to know I did what I could, and I did it as best I could.

Then we’ll see.

Then we’ll see, indeed.

***

I think September has often been the most change-inducing month in my years. Twice, I’ve kicked off September just being lucky to be alive, riddled with injuries suffered in motor vehicle incidents. Other times I’ve done wacky things like moving to the Yukon. Once I quit a job, told the boss to go to hell, and started the path for losing 70 pounds. Another time I blew my back out.

See? September’s a license to get wacky around these-here Steffparts.

But this year, I’m applying for something that could set me on a completely different path.

Last week, I laid the foundation by creating a new homespace that could allow for order, success, and new acquisitions.

This week, I lay a new kind of foundation in the hopes of gaining education. And other stuff.

Next week, who knows.

And that’s kinda what I love about it. September looms. A season of change. I’m ready for more.

The Challenge of Transitioning

I’m in zombieland.

Mono-focused. I know what I want. I’m after it. Period.

Brains. Nommy brains.

Mmkay, no.

I want life to be my bitch. That requires me being strong, fit, and healthy.

It requires me undoing bullshit that caused me to gain back 8 pounds — and probably several inches — of the 70 pounds I’d lost.

That shit’s done, yo.*

A small part of me was enjoying the summer before I destroyed my back, 2008. I was becoming a jock:  strong, powerful, and often making my “fit” friends feel like chumps because Fat Girl could work circles around ’em.

They loved it, I loved it. Good times and great laughs. What a change from them always having to slow up and check on me.

There’s nothing more important in my life to me right now than taking that back.

I fucking love the pride I feel when I know what I’m really getting done.

Nothing says empowered like being able to change a day that’s had me bent over and taking it by having a set of fitness goals and blowing that out of the water. Whatever else life did that day, it couldn’t stop me from killing that workout.

There’s something that comes from that place of knowing you scaled a mountain, rode 30 km, or did a crazy set of highrise stairs.

I love that place. I’ve owned that place.

Since May 11th, I have worked out on more days than I haven’t, usually five days a week. And, on most days, I’ve tried to really leave it all on the floor. I’m getting better at that, and intend to keep pushing boundaries.

Today, my whole body cries for release. This is the consequence of those actions.

All of me is so tight and sore. From my ankles to my jaw, I hurt.

There’s only one thing I know I can do to help it: Work out more, but differently. Like my chiro doc tells me, “Motion is lotion.”

Move it, or lose it. Two days slack is asking for a world of pain. Days off are harder than days on, when you get used to the workload, but there’s a point in between where everything you do’s an effort, and I’m there. So fucking spent.

It’s with weary resignation I know I can’t rest. I know I don’t want to go cycling later, and most of me would rather crawl in bed and die today, but… I know: I can’t.

My “rest day” will be tomorrow or Saturday. Maybe both, since much walking will be required tomorrow and anything else might overdo it.

I cancelled plans last night. Didn’t have it in me, and saw that coming from morning light. I’m sure feelings were hurt. They’ll understand someday.

I know what’s important to me right now, and it’s not parties and big crowds of people. It’s not about finding my contentment through others, or getting their validation, or needing their company.

It’s about rediscovering that place inside that gave me the power to change my world in such a dramatic fashion once already.

And I know what it takes.

It takes cancelling out on parties.

It takes that inevitable night at the end of the week where you’re just fucking DONE and all you can do is crash at 9:00 at night and sleep for 10 hours, waking with already-weary bones that know they’re in for more, and soon.

It takes vitamins, big healthy meals, water all day, planning food in advance, total time-management, prioritizing yourself before anyone else, and avoiding engagements that are too heavily centred around dining and drinking.

I know what it takes.

It takes a total life change.

And you know what else it takes?

It takes pissing off other people who don’t understand what it really takes, when you just can’t find it in you to go and be happy and fun with other people. You’d rather just die on the sofa with only one thing on your mind: You met the goal this week.

People don’t get how hard it is. You can’t POSSIBLY get it. If you think losing 10 pounds is hard, or 20, try 70.

Just fucking try it. I did it. I know. I did that. And it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And I’ve kept 62 off for 18 months!

I know Biggest Loser’s the biggest cheese going on TV sometimes, with the sound editing and the seemingly simplified weight battles edited to fit a TV format, but the emotions those people feel — the breakdowns at the end of the season, of trying to juggle real life with friends and families and weightloss — and how it’s the people around them who always lose out, that’s all real.

Wanting to cry because you’re so fucking tired, but LOVING the joy you feel inside about what you’ve accomplished? That dichotomy is a weird place to live, and the tightrope one walks to sustain each is the toughest balance ever.

To be successful with a “180” health-wise, to take on a radically active life after years of sloth — the focus and drive they take are impossible to explain.

The pain with which your body screams at you after years of giving into gravity and laziness, after decades of shovelling processed food into it, after years of losing lung capacity… that isn’t a one-week adjustment.

And I’ve had a decade of injuries to overcome on top of all that pain.  For me, it means I have to spend hours stretching out the hours of working out, every single week.

That whole-body-fatigue keeps hurting — week after week, month after month — because every pound you lose means you need to work harder to remove the remainder.

It’s why 80% or more of people can’t lose weight and sustain it.

This is the HARDEST mental battle of your life. Win the weightloss headgame and no other game will out-think you in life. I guarantee it.

The resilience you need to get past 50 pounds of weightloss, and to sustain it, is something you can’t learn from a book or buy from a specialist. You create it and nurture it.

I may have gained 8 pounds back out of 70, but I don’t feel like that’s a failure at all. I think 10% gain back after 21 months spent with a life-altering injury, then caught in a year of burn-out, is fucking awesome.

I’m proud as hell of that. GO, ME.

And what a gift for getting back on path, being still so close to the goal I’ve wanted to achieve since I was 17: Being under 200 pounds.

I hope to reach that goal by Canada Day. Scared I won’t. But I’m gonna try real fuckin’ hard.

I won’t feel guilty for focusing on myself right now — be it meaning that I cancel plans, or whatever else it takes.

I’m not likely to cancel on one-on-one time with friends or small groups, but, parties? Yep. The full-body fatigue that comes from this doesn’t tend to always make one a real cheery camper to hang with when it comes to maintaining a “vibe” a host/hostess is trying to create. Can’t do it.

I’m tired. I’m sore.

I’m dreading how much further, harder, and heavier all this shit’s gonna get before I’m at where I want to be.

I’m not some 140-pound chick climbing those highrise stairs or cycling 35km, man, I’m 210-plus. I literally haul every pound of that on this frame — it’s actually there, it’s actually heavy. It’s real fuckin’ heavy.

Gravity finds every ounce of that weight when I’m fighting it, and, believe me, I feel like it after a week like I’ve had.

But I’m elated.

It has begun. I’m at the climax of where it gets real, real hard at the beginning, where every day is filled with hurt and fatigue, but, soon, I’ll hit my pace where it’s just about keeping the wheels spinning ‘cos momentum’s been found.

I’ll be one seriously weary girl for a while. My BEST friends understand it and WELCOME it.

Soon, it’ll just be a new normal, and the determination that emerges from meeting small success after small success is its own feeding frenzy.

And I’ll be Mojo Girl again.

I’ll get that cocky grin that makes people wonder what the fuck I’m on. I’ll get my twinkle in my eye, the smirk that says “Look out.”

Then it all gets very, very fun. Very.

Just you wait.

.

*I think I’ve lost the weight already, or close to it. But I’m waiting until one month in for weigh-day and that’s next Wednesday. It’s really about the feeling. I know the weight will come off gradually — it did before. It’s nice to see the numbers change, though. Rewarding. But not really what it’s about. It’s important to know that before you step on the scale. It’s important to believe it.